Stock keeping units (SKU) are defined as a number assigned to a specific inventory item with a detailed description of the part in the inventory database. There can only be one SKU in the inventory records for each inventory item. For example, if warehouse “A” has part number A987xx and warehouse “B” has part number A987xx, the items would be identical, as would the part description and SKU or stock number. Many businesses are realizing how much they have invested in MRO inventory at plants globally and the dollars are staggering to say the least. The task to standardize the SKUs for parts across such a large platform is huge and according to the size of the corporation, it could take 3 to 5 years to complete such an undertaking. The reward is worth the effort and with the EAM (enterprise asset management) systems available today, multisite operations can use the information to their benefit to reduce inventories throughout the corporation.
Part Nomenclature. If you show the exact same item to a group of people and ask each of them what it is, they will almost certainly give you different answers. Some will offer only a brief description, others more detailed. Several may actually give you the exact same information but in a different sequence .This is often what happens when different individuals are asked to provide descriptions for new storeroom items, or when multiple people are responsible for entering part descriptions into the CMMS. Without providing some guidance, each individual is free to express his or her own style, preferences, and biases. When this happens, the Part Master can quickly be cluttered with disorganized or incorrect data. Establishing and following standard guidelines for item descriptions will help identify similar parts, reduce the likelihood of duplicate CMMS numbers for the same part, and facilitate queries for parts within and across sites.
While there is no single standard or best practice for establishing part descriptions, there are some generally accepted rules that can be applied. Using these guidelines with some common sense and a disciplined approach is generally sufficient to establish adequate part descriptions.
The most commonly used method for establishing part descriptions follows a sequence of
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